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In 1956, the inaugural year of the Cy Young Award, Don Newcombe became the first pitcher to win the National League MVP and the Cy Young in the same season-

 

 

Newcombe's close friend Roy Campanella was the Dodgers 2nd black player they signed after Jackie Robinson who broke the Major League Baseball color barrier in 1947, Newcombe was the third

 

 

Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers, posed and ready to swing, is the fist black person that was permitted to play on an American professional sports team thus breaking the racist American color line in 1947 - (US-Library Of Congress photo)

 

 

 

SPORTS NOTES - The Dodgers DON NEWCOMBE... REMEMBERED

James Loving/National Radio Text Service

 

 

In the age of candy ass athletes and 100 pitch limits for today's Major League pitchers I went into recall mode thinking of when men were men and played their sport with toughness. Currently the new age athlete is spoiled and in many cases overpaid. Thinking of the comparisons of athletes then and now the names of Major League Baseball's Harvey Haddix and Don Newcombe came to mind. Both accomplished feats that will never be surpassed or duplicated… - NBA's Greatest All-time TEAM

 

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

OLD SCHOOL TOUGHNESS

In the age of MLB pitchers having a 100 pitch count per game limit it brought up memories of when men were men and limits were not an option. Two performances of old time players stand out the most. One was Harvey Haddix who is best known for pitching 12 perfect innings in a game against the Milwaukee Braves on May 26, 1959; the Pirates lost the game in the 13th.

The other is former Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher pitching BOTH GAMES OF A DOUBLE HEADER. On Nov. 28, 1956 Newcombe was the first recipient of the Cy Young award, which was introduced by Commissioner Ford C. Frick in honor of Hall of Famer Cy Young, who died in 1955.

On a personal note I met Newcombe when I became a sports journalist in 1989 and he was in a public relations role with the Los Angles Dodgers. He invited me to lunch and related his pitching both games of a double header. I informed him that I knew because I WAS THERE.

I believe I hookied school to see Johnny Padres pitch. Prior to the second game they announced that Padres was injured and would not play, much to my disappointment

When Newcombe trotted out to the mound I was shocked. I never heard of such a thing before that and never since that time that a pitcher would start both games of a double header. I believe only Newcombe is the ONLY PLAYER TO ACCOMPLISH THIS FEAT!

In searching the specific information about those games on the Internet I found that Newcombe passed away on February 02, 2019 at the age of 92..

As a child I detested Newcombe for mowing down my Phillies. When I became an adult and met Newcombe I found him to be a very nice man. The one thing he did for me I'll never forget is when we were talking while standing behind a seating section at Dodgers stadium when he pointed out Roy Campanella sitting in the front row of the section down below.

Campanella was the Dodgers 2nd black player they signed after Jackie Robinson who broke the Major League Baseball color barrier in 1947. Robinson was the first black player in all of the modern major sports leagues including the NFL (National Football League),

NBA (National Basketball Association) and NHL (National Hockey League). Newcombe said to go and talk to him. I was somewhat surprised since I knew that Campanella was paralyzed and in a wheel chair. I didn't think he could or wanted to be bothered to talk. I felt it might be an imposition on him.

At Newcombe's assurance I approached the Hall of Fame former Dodgers catcher and was surprised to find that Campanella was accommodating and welcoming. He gave me a great interview that resulted in a super feature for radio. What makes this more special is the bond between the two former Dodgers because Newcombe was the third black player the Dodgers signed.

I later found that Campanella and Newcombe, had been close friends for years. They were the only blacks in New England baseball in 1946 when they broke in with Nashua, N.H., a Dodger farm club that had Walter Alston as manager and Buzzie Bavasi as general manager. Their bond was close and they eventually moved up to the major leagues.

The 6'4" 225 lb hulk of man pitched his first game on June 20, 1949 (Age 22). In 1949, he became the first black pitcher to start a World Series game. When Newk won the Rookie of the Year Award, he was the first pitcher in award history to receive the honor.

On September 6, 1950, he started both games of a Double header in Philadelphia winning game one but failing to go the distance in game two. Newcombe won Game 1 with a shutout throwing only 83 pitches and pitched 7 innings and got a no decision in Game 2, a game the Dodgers won 3-2.

Newcombe was the first black pitcher to win twenty games in one season. In 1956, the inaugural year of the Cy Young Award, he became the first pitcher to win the National League MVP and the Cy Young in the same season. He was an excellent hitting pitcher who compiled a career batting average of .271 with 15 home runs and was used as a pinch hitter, a then rarity for pitchers.

In searching the Internet for specifics on Newcombe's feat I was sad to find that he passed away this year. My memories are that he was a good man to me and a great pitcher.

DID YOU KNOW?

The NBA players averages this season are:

Average Height: 6-6.54

Average Weight: 219.33

Average Age: 26.18

Average NBA Years: 4.59


 

NBA's 50 GREATEST PLAYERS of ALL TIME LIST

On October 29, 1996 In conjunction with the NBA’s 50th anniversary celebration, the list of The 50 Greatest Players in NBA History was announced. It included: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Nate Archibald, Paul Arizin, Charles Barkley, Rick Barry, Elgin Baylor, Dave Bing, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, Bob Cousy, Dave Cowens, Billy Cunningham, Dave DeBusschere, Clyde Drexler, Julius Erving, Patrick Ewing, Walt Frazier, George Gervin, Hal Greer, John Havlicek, Elvin Hayes, Earvin Johnson, Sam Jones, Michael Jordan, Jerry Lucas, Karl Malone, Moses Malone, Pete Maravich, Kevin McHale, George Mikan, Earl Monroe, Shaquille O’Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon, Robert Parish, Bob Pettit, Scottie Pippen, Willis Reed, Oscar Robertson, David Robinson, Bill Russell, Dolph Schayes, Bill Sharman, John Stockton, Isiah Thomas, Nate Thurmond, Wes Unseld, Bill Walton, Jerry West, Lenny Wilkens, and James Worthy

 

THE NBA's GREATEST of ALL TIME
1st Team
Position
2nd Team
Larry Bird
PF
Elgin Baylor
SF
Julius Erving
Bill Russell
C
Wilt Chamberlain
Michael Jordan
SG
LeBron James
Magic Johnson
PG
Oscar Robertson
11th & 12th MAN SUBSTITUTES & Coach
C/F
C
Coach

 

 


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